This post was done in partnership with Café Appliances, who sponsored this post by providing the compensation and appliances to make it happen! I’m incredibly lucky to be a member of the Café Collective, a group of nine women with impeccable style and expertise in the realm of home design, fashion, lifestyle, and food. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Hummingbird High possible!

Why a kitchen refresh?

A few years ago, I remodeled my kitchen. While I still loved the updates and its new, cozy-yet-functional layout, I definitely made safe and practical design choices: stainless steel appliances, a neutral color palette, and so on. I loved it (and still do), but I also felt like something was off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at the time. But after living in the house and using my kitchen for a few years, I finally realized what was missing: ME.

I know that sounds like the latest Taylor Swift song, but hear me out—I realized I’d made a kitchen that appealed to renters and buyers, one that represented the safe and practical side of me that studied economics in school and worked many years in finance and tech. But the fact of the matter is that my Portland house is my forever home, and my original design was missing the courageous and creative side of my personality. You know, the side that created this blog and makes cakes that look like cherry blossom trees in bloom and have workouts-of-the-day written on them.

What were the changes?

With that in mind, I worked together with Café Appliances to “refresh” my kitchen. The refresh consisted of these major changes:


I HAD to get rid of my kitchen’s gray color scheme. Because Portland is one of the rainiest cities in the country, it is literally gray almost every single day of the year—why did I bring that doom-and-gloom into my home with the same gray color scheme in my kitchen? I decided to paint the walls from gray to a bright white, and the gray bottom cabinets to a dusty green. In particular, I was actually inspired this model kitchen from Café Appliances:


My kitchen before had a set of mismatching stainless steel appliances from different companies. I upgraded these appliances to a complete set of beautiful Café Appliances suite consisting of a double oven range, fridge, hood, and dishwasher.

I’d initially thought I was going to pick the Matte White version of the appliances (which is also so, so beautiful), but ended up loving the way the Matte Black finish contrasted against my new green kitchen cabinets. Besides, I wanted to be true to my resolution of being braver and bolder in my design choices—Matte Black was the way to go in the end, and I have no regrets.


To match the stainless steel appliances, I picked inoffensive silver cabinet hardware for my old kitchen. They were beautiful… if you noticed them. They blended in too much with everything else! This time around, I wanted the hardware to really POP. I swapped out the cabinetry hardware for gold knobs and pulls.

But as a bonus, Café Appliances enables you to customize your appliance hardware too! Their hardware—range knobs and handles—comes in four different brushed metal hardware finishes. I really wanted to make a statement with mine, so instead of matching my appliance hardware to my cabinets, I chose the contrasting Brushed Copper finish. I literally get compliments on it every time somebody new steps into my kitchen.

With all that said, here are the before and afters:

Hummingbird High’s Kitchen Refresh Reveal:
The Sink Area Before and After

Immediately, you can see how brightening up the walls with white and the cabinetry with green makes the kitchen so much less dreary! One of my favorite touches too, is the new pendant. The pendant is made with (an also matte) black finish to match the Café Appliances Matte Black Dishwasher. However, I love the contrast between the gold hardware of the pendant light and the Brushed Copper hardware of the dishwasher—it ties all the elements of the kitchen together without it all being too matchy-matchy.

Also, can we talk about this Café Appliances dishwasher for a hot second? I’ve already told you guys how the dishwasher is a major workhorse in my kitchen. But I also love the way that, in this photo, you can see the luxuriousness of the Café Appliances matte finish—although there’s a giant ray of sunlight coming from the window in the kitchen nook, the matte finish hardly reflects any light at all. And did I already mention that the matte doesn’t show any fingerprints?!

Hummingbird High’s Kitchen Refresh Reveal:
The Cooking Area Before and After

Swapping out the stainless steel appliances had a BIG effect. This part of my kitchen, while functional (the position of the fridge and range form a sharp triangle with the sink area), always felt a little cramped and boring. But the Matte Black Café Appliances make a world of a difference. There is now so much personality in the space, and it somehow feels both cozier AND more spacious than before.

I think the spaciousness might be attributed to the fact that, because the Café Appliances range is a slide-in, it’s missing the top panel by the cooking burners—all the oven controls are now on the panel in between the cooking knobs. I love how open it all feels, and am considering adding a pot filler in the tile above the burners next year.

Hummingbird High’s Kitchen Refresh Reveal:
The Range

Currently, this is my favorite view of the kitchen. This is really where you can see a lot of the design elements of the kitchen come together. Note how the gold drawer pulls have a small matte black element that matches the matte black color of both the Café Appliances hood and range. My favorite part, however, is the contrast between the gold hardware of the cabinetry and the brushed copper hardware of the Café range:

I think mixing the different metals together really adds a distinct design element that makes this kitchen SO unique to me and my personality and style. I’ve also been adding various accessories throughout the kitchen to really play with this idea—did you spy the gold pepper grinder above, and the copper juice press in the dishwasher photo? So fun.


All “Before” photos by Celeste Noche, all “After” photos by yours truly.